Friday, September 12, 2014

September 12th

I just received word of Don Gordons passing, Stan Burkinshaw sent me an email with some of what Don did in his early years and retirement..
 He was married to a beautiful lady who died many years ago in corn bin accident. they milked a lot of cows and farmed. Earlier Don was in the Army during the Korean War and crew chief on some type of Aircraft. Stan says he still owns his own plane which is somewhere here in the Valley. He once owned a big fuel delivery service business, delivering diesel and gas to farmers and ranchers. Later he had 4 or 5 semi trucks . He had a Son who died at age 50. And has another Son and Daughter living in Nebraska. He owns several homes besides the one here in our park. Don died in Creighton, Nebraska hospital. Stan says Don was atrue entrepreneur, a very generous person, who would give you the shirt off his back.
He loved playing cards here in the park and was really good at it. Bless your heart Maria Walton for all you did for Don!!!

There's getting to be quite a few Hummers showing up...there really hasn't been a lot of them this Summer.

We just purchased some "Blue Daze" I love this plant, it seems to be one of the only truely blue flowering plants, we will do a hanging basket or two and I thought I might plant some in the ground and see how they do, we can get cuttings from them after they're established.

Just looked at the stats for the blog, over 2,000 hits to it last month, which has been the norm for the past year. It's great to see that folks are reading it and hope to keep it up

We are having rain today and especially on Saturday and also rain forecasted for the several more days . The grass is really growing from the last rains so the lawn care people will really be busy.

Some of the streets are getting the tar and some are not, we heard they ran out of it???!!!The palms have not been trimmed and all the little seeds are  everywhere, dangerous to walk on, thousands in the pool each morning.

Wednesday at Social Hour we had some really good food, pulled pork, brisket, meatballs, chicken wings, and lots of other good stuff!!!

Mary Alice Eshelman had quite a scare, she has a tumor, they said it's benign and very slow growing, so that was good news. No surgery for now. Art Voss just got out of the hospital, pneumonia , and is scheduled for surgery to repair a heart valve.

Friday, September 5, 2014


We have had some great rains the last few days, so far over 5 inches and more coming. We sure needed it, grass is greener already. Thanks to Hurricane Dolly which has come into about 173 Miles south of Brownsville.

Thank you all for sending me some neat pictures of what you all have been up to this Summer. So many good pictures posted on Facebook too, but I didnt think I should rob them from there but did post those sent to me. I wanted to post a picture of some newly weds  their anniversary which was in August but didnt get them in so here's the picture! Do you recognize these newly weds?

Stan and Jeannie Burkinshaw. August 3rd 1952. This was taken at Jeannies folks home 62 years ago, and they now live within a block from there today!

Also this month was the Therrians 50th Wedding Anniversary. quite a few folks who winter here went to Canada for the event. I was told the dress Charlotte is wearing was her original wedding gown? What about Hector?

Today Darlene Bryant furnished the donuts, she is still in Iowa but thought she would be here by now. She was going to ride back with the Lamps but they aren't coming back until later on, Darlene may just take Sun Country and fly on down.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Winter Texan Campout, from Mary Lou Benson

It amazes us when we realize this winter Texan get-together all began back in the mid-1990s. That was when the Griffins, Schurmans, McIntyres, Yanceys, Bensons, and Jake Schneider would potluck in Ruby Benson Baechler’s front yard, camping at Gilbertson Park in Elgin.

Jumping ahead to 2014, the weather couldn’t have been better than it was this year at our annual campout! Our registration sheet shows 106 people camped, visited or just stopped by. Temps were in 70s & 80s much of the week, only a small shower one day, but not enough to dampen our spirits. Some camping units came earlier than ever with 3 or 4 arriving on Saturday, most coming Sunday through Wednesday. Campfires were held nightly thanks to our official fireman Lavern. We filled our circle by the shelter house except for one spot. Bensons, Gibbs, Marge Reishus & Ann Johnson were able to find camping units to rent. Some rented motel rooms at Brick City Inn or West Union....while others drove in for a day or a few hours. States represented were Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Texas, Missouri, and South Dakota.

Doesn’t there always seem to be some mischief or excitement of some kind to entertain us?!! This year we felt lucky to have Roger & Darlene Andrews join us and we thank Lavern for traveling to Frederika to pull their 5th wheel over for them. Roger’s had some health issues preventing them from going to TX last winter. Their 5th wheel hadn’t been used in over a year. One day we heard Darlene screaming. Seems a bull snake was stuck in the 5th wheel slide-out (on the INSIDE). After much screaming & photography of the LIVE snake, it was finally extracted, thanks to Myla...she’s SO brave!

We were happy that John & Marge Whited still travel from Denison, Iowa each year. They might be the really SENIOR campers of our group & this year they had a new mini-camper rather than a pull-behind. They are always game to whatever we choose to do each day. Here’s a special welcome to Dave & Marylyn Mason who came for their first year, hoping they found enough fun that they’ll be back in 2015.

Sunday night we enjoyed Irene & John Quail’s hot dogs with chili & slaw, always tasty .. thanks to them for doing this! Evening meals were usually potluck in the shelter house except for the night we went downtown for pizza. The entire week, we had wonderful food, plenty of desserts, good Iowa sweet corn, and those delicious Illinois peaches courtesy of the Gibbs. Following the evening potlucks & even some afternoons people played “nickel”, “dummy rummy”, poker, & Mexican Train dominoes.

The fellows enjoyed golf at the course between Elgin & Clermont. Some traveled to other courses in the area as well. Ladies traveled to various towns & some fellows joined us. Happy hour was held most afternoons about 4 o’clock. It is nearly impossible to record the many trips taken throughout the area but here is a recap, possibly missing some!

Tuesday a group went to McGregor shopping, then stopped at Maggie’s CafĂ© for lunch, before continuing on to Elkader for MORE shopping. On Wednesday, a scheduled tour to Country View Dairy between West Union & Frederickburg was taken. This is a Mennonite-operated farm where they make their own yogurt. There were 27 people on this trip! Following the dairy-yogurt tour, we went on to Hawkeye as many wanted to return to K & K Gardens there. Thursday a couple carloads went to Horsefalls in Lansing.

It seemed the highlight tour of the week (surprised us!) was Friday when approximately 30 went to Calmar to tour the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation. Even those who weren’t farmers in their “former” lives enjoyed this, especially the robotic milking parlor. We had been told we would have home-made ice cream here. Little did we know we would be making our own. What fun, we’re keeping that recipe & hope to use it in south TX some Sunday afternoon!

Friday we were able to do a repeat trip to Peggy & Steve Kittelson’s Woodland Designs by Clermont where kaleidoscopes are made. Some of the ladies shopped at the 3-story fabric store in Monona. A small group traveled to Spillville to see the Bily Clocks. If you are in NE Iowa and have not seen this, you missed something! Schurman’s daughter Kay & granddaughter Reba came to tube the Turkey River one afternoon with Myla and Lavern. We gave Myla a “star” for her Senior Certificate Award she’d received previously.

Smaller groups took trips during the week including West Union shops & the Amish in Fairbank. They stopped at Dusk to Dawn south of Readlyn only to discover it is not open on Saturday afternoons. We found an Amish Bakery east of Clermont which is smaller than the Fairbank one, but delicious just the same. That group went on to the Amish Greenhouse only to find dried-up plants except for the climbing tomatoes. That was the day Tom’s sister Bev hit a deer doing some damage to the hood of her car!

Bensons grilled 45 chickens (90 halves) Saturday night. That was the day Marc Frana came to entertain us for good listening & some dancing. Seems as we have grown older, maybe wiser, we enjoy the listening as much as the dancing! Thanks to the Slycords who served fried onions for our happy hour that evening. We welcomed many extra visitors on Saturday including some of the Benson-Schmidt kids & grandkids.

Sunday morning we broke up camp with some eating buffet at SkipAway Lodge, some at the popular Turkey River Saloon downtown. 

Looking ahead to next year, we’ve had a request to make a return trip to Decorah and possibly do another Mississippi River cruise, so we’ll be looking into those for 2015. We have talked to Fuzzy Oakland, the well-known Clermont resident who knows everything you need to know about the history of Clermont. He may (or may not) join us for a day tour or an evening talk (who the heck knows at this point!), then maybe provide & cook some sweet corn for us with a steam engine. That’s what he told us anyway.

Put this date on your calendar .. Next year we’ll be camping Aug. 2-9. 
We are open for other ideas from our friends! Just give us a holler via phone or email!

Friday, August 29, 2014

August 29th

This morning Ken and Sue Barnhart furnished donuts.

Gene and Mary wanted to have biscuits and gravy some morning so some of us got together and decided to have a Brunch Monday, Labor Day, Gene, with the help of Bobby and Ken will do biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs, the rest of us will bring a side dish. Hoping Ken's knee gets to feeling better, he hurt it yesterday and was in quite a bit of pain last night. He found out it was a strain.

The biggest news is the rain we are getingt today and also good chance Sat. and Sun. And I just saw that next week good chances for more rain. The trees and grass are suffering right now so this is great news. Now things will green up and be beautiful for when you all come down! I was talking to Grace Thornton from Iowa yesterday and she said it has rained and rained in Iowa for the last week or so, and the farmers are hoping that will end soon as harvest is just around the corner!

I was at the Walmart Neighborhood Market when it opened Thursday. It's on the corner of 18th and Texas. It is very nice and folks are so friendly. some freebies and a Mariochee band played for a bit in the morning. There's a pharmacy there but of course no clothes or garden center, just the food. It will be great for the neighborhood there, but since we are so close to HEB and to the big Walmart , I probably won't shop there unless they have some good bargains advertised. The pharmacy may take some of the load off the big Walmart. There are 4 of these  Neighborhood Markets in the Valley which hire about 700 people so this is great, all of these are here in Hidalgo County, 2 in McAllen, 1 in Mission and now here in Weslaco. Oh, by the way they are open 24 hours.

More next week

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday August 22nd

I am still trying to get used to this hot weather. The weather man says 100, each day for the next week, yuk!
I feel sorry for Alex and Roberto, they started the tarring of the streets yesterday. I don't know how they can stand it. They were covered with tar and shoes too. They had to quit early as the wind got to blowing so bad. they did all of Orange St. yesterday and back in the 99's today

We sure had tasty finger food last Wednesday. Donuts provided by the Mason's this week.

The card up for signing is for former residents whose Grandaughter passed away, she had 2 lungtransplants but cancer spread in other places. The Sextons were at the Story City potluck and Teresa talked to everyone about the grand daughters condition.

I had an enjoyable drive over to the new Walmart in Elsa this morning, the roads are all 4 lane with new blacktop, very nice roads and some beautiful homes along the way, many little businesses I had never known were on that road, the store was gorgious and only a handful of people shopping.
Our little  Walmart "Market" will be opening, I think someone said the end of this month, on 18th street.

The parrots are still in the park every evening and mornings, there were about 30 of them on the electric wires on the North end of the park.

I also took this picture of the fountain Ken Barnhart made for Mary Freundshuh, she loves it and it's really beautiful.

There's been a mass of Martins coming and going at their home, they seem to be organizing for a trip South maybe, yesterday there were only 5 or 6 birds the neighbors said just before we got home from Iowa there was over 100 birds flying all around the house and most of them sat on the electric wires behind our house.
We took 2 Martin houses down already. And just this morning Bobby and Ken took the last house down.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday august 15th

We left Sunday morning and arrived Monday around 7:00p.m. I guess we were anxious to get back to the 100 degree weather here, yuk! Miss the cool mornings and evening in Iowa.

Ken and Cheryl Costley provided the donuts this morning. There are no cards up to sign.
Sorry I didn't get this posted until late tonight

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Last day at Clermont

Marc Frana came to entertain us today! Remember he was in our park 2 years ago, he played at our "Happy Hours" in the park.

some folks came by just for the day today, Duffy's were on their way to Hobo Days in Britt,Iowa, they brought their truck, it will be in the car show in Britt.

Heidi was excited to see Pepper

Laverne and Yvonne Sherman's Daughter and Grand daughter, and Myla, (Miles Stensland's Daughter) and Lavern, all went tubing down the River.

Some danced but most everyone just sat and listened to the music and visited.
Tom Benson did around 85    1/2 chickens on the grill....and we all brought side dishes
Here's a picture of the grills with the chicken cooking on them, Tom and Bobby had to turn the chicken when they were done on one side, it was quite a sight to see them turn the whole rack over...